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Russia: New Law Regulates Missionary Work

(July 14, 2016) On July 6, 2016, the President of the Russian Federation signed the recently adopted Federal Law No. 374 on Amending the Federal Law on Counterterrorism and Select Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Concerning the Creation of Additional Measures Aimed at Countering Terrorism and Protecting Public Safety. (Federal Law No. 374, PRAVO.GOV.RU […]

Iraq/ICC: Investigation of ISIL Crimes Urged by Religious Minority

(Sept. 30, 2015) On September 24, 2015, members of the Yazidi minority religious community in Iraq met with Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). They filed a report with details of attacks on the community carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since August 2014. The […]

Burma: Four “Race and Religion Protection Laws” Adopted

(Sept. 14, 2015) Four laws known collectively as the Race and Religion Protection Laws, which were submitted to the Parliament of Burma (Myanmar) in December 2014, were adopted this spring by the Parliament and recently signed by Thein Sein, Burma’s President. (Myanmar: Parliament Must Reject Discriminatory ‘Race and Religion’ Laws, Amnesty International website (Mar. 3, […]

United Arab Emirates: New Law Banning Discrimination

(July 22, 2015) On July 20, 2015, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) issued a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion or ethnic identity. The law also bans discrimination on the grounds of caste, doctrine, color, or race. (Steven Wildberger, UAE Issues Religious Tolerance Law, PAPER CHASE (July 21, 2015).) The Attorney-General of the […]

Indonesia: Law Proposed to Protect Religious Minorities

(June 11, 2015) Indonesia’s government has proposed a law on the protection of religious minorities. It is currently listed as in committee with the legislature, the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat. (Rancangan Undang-Undang Tentang Perlindungan Umat Beragama [Draft Law on the Protection of Religious Communities], Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat website (last visited June 8, 2015).) While some leaders […]

Russia: Bill Approved to Allow Foreign Organizations to Be Declared Undesirable

(Feb. 24, 2015) On January 20, 2015, the State Duma of the Russian Federation (the lower chamber of the legislature) approved on the first reading a draft law that amends several legislative acts regulating the activities of foreign and international organizations working in Russia, including religious ones. (Bill No. 662902-6, Russian legislative database (in Russian) […]

Russia: Registered Clergy May Be Allowed to Meet with Prisoners

(Jan. 6, 2015) On December 9, 2014, the State Duma of the Russian Federation (lower chamber of the legislature) approved on the first reading legislation that amends the country’s Correctional Code to allow prisoners to communicate with members of the clergy. (Bill No. 614607-6, Duma legislative database (Dec. 9, 2014).) If passed, the law will […]

Russia: Religious Orthodox Classes Will Be Taught in Public School Buildings

(Nov. 26, 2014) On November 24, 2014, the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant reported that according to Moscow City Council Member and Chair of the Moscow City Board of Education Nina Minko, the Russian Orthodox Church has been granted the right to use public school buildings when classes are out, without paying rent. (Aleksandr Chernykh & […]

Indonesia: Aceh Province Bans Daytime Food Sales During Ramadan

(July 7, 2014) The Wilayatul Hisbah, or Shariah Police, of Aceh Province, an area of Indonesia that applies Islamic law, have forbidden sales of food during the daytime during the month of Ramadan, in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. They have applied the rule from 5 am to 3 pm, and to everyone, […]

Malaysia: Highest Court Declines to Overturn Ban on Use of Word “Allah” by Non-Muslims

(June 30, 2014) On June 23, 2014, the Federal Court of Malaysia turned down an appeal to hear a case challenging the country’s prohibition against the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims to refer to God. The ban, which had been overturned by a December 31, 2009, Kuala Lumpur High Court decision after having […]